We are shocked and saddened by the attacks that have taken place in Brussels, and we recognize that this is one of many attacks in recent history that have claimed the lives of innocent victims. This continued, senseless violence weighs heavy on our hearts and reaffirms our belief that cross-cultural experiences are a vital way to build connections and cultivate understanding and love. We grieve for the victims, their families, and communities, and we will continue to work to build bridges and spread peace through international programs that facilitate intercultural interactions.
We also want to provide information for those that may be searching. Here are some resources and tips:
IF YOU ARE IN BRUSSELS:
- Shelter in a secure location and do not move unnecessarily until advised to do so. Stay inside and avoid public transportation stations until authorities have deemed them clear.
- Do not make calls if it is not absolutely necessary. The telephone networks are saturated. Communicate with friends and family via social networks or via SMS to avoid saturating the telephone networks.
IF YOU ARE NOT CURRENTLY IN BRUSSELS:
- Do not attempt to come to Brussels at this time. Transportation – including metro and rail – has been suspended. Travel to Zaventem Airport is not possible at this time. As this may change, please consult local news, authorities, and transport sources for updates (please see resource list below).
SAFETY TIPS FOR ALL US CITIZENS TRAVELING INTERNATIONALLY:
- The US State Department recommends that US citizens enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) when travelling abroad in order to receive the latest updates and security announcements: https://step.state.gov/step/
- Check with your cellular provider prior to departure to be sure that your cell phone will work while abroad.
- Arrange travel insurance prior to departure. We – or your group leader or travel provider – can assist you with this.
- Leave your travel itinerary with a friend or relative at home, and check in with them periodically during your trip.
- Give the emergency contact info – of a friend or relative at home – to your group leader and/or travel provider.
- Carry the emergency contact info relevant to your destination (hotel, guide, emergency phone numbers, tourist police, embassy, etc)
- Be prepared for increased security. This means allowing extra time for security checks, labeling your luggage with your name and address, and carrying your passport – or at least a copy – with you at all times.
- Monitor news reports, U.S. State Department Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts, and Embassy Security Messages.
- Always inform your group leader or travel provider of any plans outside of group activities.
- Travel in small groups and be aware of your surroundings.
- Avoid large gatherings.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES (provided by the NAFSA EA KC Subcommittee on Health & Safety by Steve Hopkins, Chair):
U.S. Department of State:
Travel Warnings and Alerts
Country Specific Information
Students Abroad (travel documents, health, emergencies including health, crime, natural disasters, etc.) http://studentsabroad.state.gov/
Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) http://www.osac.gov
If you have questions, corrections, or need more info from us, please contact us at Team@aeastudyabroad.com